Having a recruitment strategy that favours diverse hiring is not only good for society but beneficial for the company’s reputation and success. While the positive impact of diverse hiring is well-known, numerous companies still struggle to reach an adequate level of diversity in their teams.
There are many different techniques and approaches in recruitment. Some aim to find experts, others to create a personnel reserve. Blind recruitment is a new approach that will give employers the confidence that no one’s bias will affect the recruitment process. While the employers get the opportunity to produce a more diverse workforce.
This article dwells on what blind recruitment actually is, how it works and how to implement it in one’s hiring funnel.
What is blind recruitment?
Blind hiring is a selection method that allows the employer to consider candidates objectively. Name, gender, age, socio-economic status, and career status go out of sight. Instead of – concrete facts, results, skills, and knowledge, take the stage.
This eliminates bias, which prevents an adequate assessment of the candidate. This approach is used mainly at the stage of initial selection. During an interview with candidates, it is necessary to understand their capabilities. It is essential to be objective – to evaluate here and now.
Besides, It is essential to objectively assess applicants by their abilities, understand their potential, and find out everything else after that. The blind recruiting method is very effective for finding employees for remote crypto jobs, especially for startups, where teams with an average founder age of under 25 perform nearly 30% above their portfolio average.
Why are companies tackling bias?
Culture, engagement, and even profits within a company can be affected by unaddressed biases from management and employees. Companies are starting to address this issue and diversify their teams.
A diverse team has many advantages, for example:
- Profits at companies with “above average diversity” increase by 19%.
- Productivity in companies with a diverse team is 60% higher.
- The practice of diversity builds trust in the team. Diversity is directly related to the level of engagement, trust and value of employees.
- Companies that behave ethically and responsibly attract the best talent. More than 85% of millennials prioritise working for such companies.
In today’s world, diversity in companies is still crucial.
How does blind recruitment work?
The process of blind hiring is characterised by the employer trying not to see the candidate for as long as possible and not to find out absolutely no personal information. Its essence lies in the fact that this is an absolutely pure and unbiased choice, not of a person, but of a result – a qualitative result.
Blind recruitment can be roughly divided into three stages:
Blind job applications. Initially, the recruiter looks for candidates based on resumes or positions. The recruiter creates job listings with inclusive, gender-neutral language. In this way, you can attract the attention of a large circle of applicants. According to research, jobs with gender-neutral wording attract 42% more applicants.
Blind candidate screening. During the screening, the name, gender, age, graduation date, desired income level of candidates, and so on are hidden from the recruiter. Then, anonymous testing takes place: applicants perform test tasks, still without giving their names and other personal data.
Blind interview. The final stage of the process, the blind interview, is the most technical part of the process. Communication by phone or in video format actually deprives a person of anonymity, so most often, the interview takes place in a text and completely anonymous format. Another standard option is Zoom interviews with the camera turned off.
This process’s primary goal is to eliminate the human factor and unconscious bias. The vast majority of employers are one way or another biased in their judgments about people and tend to conclude based on what is beyond a person’s control: gender, age, nationality, race, and even accent.
Studies show that while one in five women have experienced gender discrimination in employment, only 5% of men have experienced it. Often such conclusions are made unconsciously.
Advantages and disadvantages of blind recruitment
Naturally, blind hiring has many pros and cons. This process is not a final solution to increasing diversity in a company, as indicated by the disadvantages below.
Advantages of blind recruitment
Blind recruitment, foremost, is the objectivity and effectiveness of the future employee. Using this method, the employer selects the right employees who will be responsible for specific tasks and not for a bit of everything.
At the selection stage, experts and those whose knowledge is no longer in demand will be immediately visible. The employer saves time as the selection follows clear and understandable criteria.
Another point is employee loyalty. If candidates understand that they are being evaluated objectively, they will have more confidence in the company already at the entrance. And this, in turn, will increase the involvement and interest in the project.
Disadvantages of blind recruitment
Despite the advantages of blind recruitment, it is essential to point out some of its disadvantages. For example, good expertise is needed to assess candidates with minimal information about them correctly.
Blind recruitment can also be unintentionally discriminatory. This method may not fully reveal the identity of candidates, which is especially important in some corporate cultures. It is important to note that blind hiring is suitable for vacancies that have already been filled at some point in the company.
For new positions, one way or another, screening of employees, advice from colleagues, and market analysis are needed. Also, it is possible that preliminary testing and minimal information at the entrance can weed out some candidates and delay the search.
How does blind recruitment reduce bias?
Quick judgment may not always be a bad thing. However, sometimes such judgments can be inaccurate and lead to unfair decisions. This is especially important to consider when it comes to recruiting and hiring.
Hiding candidates despite the characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, or educational attainment on a resume can eliminate various cognitive biases that a recruiter or employer may have when reading a resume.
Blind recruitment makes it easier for employers to shed some initial preconceived notions about candidates. In this case, they focus on the qualifications and skills of the candidates.
How to implement the principles of blind recruitment?
Although many employers are still accustomed to comprehensively assessing candidates, now they need to get used to the fact that social and gender characteristics will step aside. Research shows that about 74% of employers are already aiming to hire the most talented people, regardless of their demographic or geographic location.
It is best to start with simple steps, like reading guides about for instance how to hire backend developers and see how they will work in the company.
Decide on the tasks of the employee
Foremost, it is necessary to clearly define the functionality and role of new specialists in the team. What will they do? What professional skills are needed? These are the main questions to start with. Employers must clearly understand why they need new employees.
Post the basic requirements in the vacancy
As an experiment, post two vacancies: standard and anonymous. Choose gender-neutral language and provide accurate information about the project. In the anonymous option, specify:
- brief information about the project;
- required skills;
Add a small test task by which candidates will be filtered as a part of the application process. Based on the results of this assessment, the recruiter will be able to schedule an interview and save time on interviewing people who are not motivated enough to take the position.
Anonymise applications beyond names
Anonymous applications are the process of removing not only the name of the candidates but also any other identifying factors from the resume. This may include information such as:
This can reduce the risk of conscious and unconscious bias and help evaluate candidates solely on their suitability for the position.
Blind recruitment requires clarity and objectivity in the evaluation. To do this, a recruiter can, for example, make tests or a competency assessment checklist, including all skills and an assessment scale for each – with scores and a description of how the candidate showed this competency.
This will simplify the task: the recruiter will select an employee based on the results, not the resume.
Assess personal qualities correctly
If soft skills are really important to the employer and how candidates will fit into the team, it is worth conducting a projective or situational interview. The recruiter should standardise the questions to evaluate communication, flexibility, multitasking, and other skills.
Such questions will shift the focus from gender, age, appearance, and other characteristics and increase objectivity.
Disregard hobbies and interests
The hobbies and interests of the candidate should not influence the decision of recruiters during the selection, therefore, such information should be removed from the resume. A recruiter may mistakenly conclude that, for example, when candidates like to take photos, they are well familiar with Photoshop, and this judgment will not be correct.
Furthermore, similarities in likings and preferences also influence the objectivity of the decision made. Thus, having common interests cannot be a decisive aspect of a positive hiring decision.
Avoid social media
In the modern world, a personal page on a social network is, in most cases, something that reflects a person’s personality. It gives a better idea of who the candidates are. Recruiters and employers can see how they present themselves online through their Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook profiles.
But still, social media show photos and other information that employers may not need to know. If the company uses a blind recruitment method, it is better for the employer to play it safe and not look at social media profiles during the pre-selection.
Request a recommendation
If it is impossible to get an accurate picture of the candidates’ skills after the interview, the employer can turn to their previous companies. Recommendations will be more objective if the employers find contacts on their own.
The main goal at the same time is to find out not the “good/bad” employees but what benefit they brought to the project. In any case, the feedback from previous colleagues should not be decisive when choosing an employee.
Discrimination in recruitment is more common than many people realise. Unconscious prejudices are very deeply rooted in people’s minds. Therefore, blind recruitment is gaining more and more popularity.
Today, 71% of employers say that practising diversity positively impacts their company. Implementing ad hoc blind recruiting can help overcome the hurdle of unconscious bias and create fairer recruiting practices.
When hiring personnel, it is necessary to consider only a person’s professional experience and skills of a person, and not gender, age, and other discriminatory factors.
About the Author
Tania Doshko is a motivated and avid content creator who believes in the power of quality writing for business success. She finds her inspiration in careful observations and amazement with the fastly developing world.